Chronotherapy would have no sustainable effect in an autism household. Not this one anyway, where dimmer switches are sequencing toys and everyone sleeps with at least three different-coloured lights on. My own circadian rhythms follow the rise and fall in amplitude of those of my son, his patterns of sleep and wakefulness dictating mine. And in Winter, I need little persuasion to ‘snoozle-doozle’. We very often both require repeat and progressively amplified prompting to get up before sunrise though. On school days, that is. Boyo will happily bounce out of bed before 5 a.m on a weekend!
Prolonged sleep functions as a neuroprotective mechanism throughout the psychological slog that is Wintertime.
Seasonal Affective Disorder – I don’t have it because there’s no such thing. The terminology is fundamentally objectionable to me. When did the human brain bleach itself so sterile as to become dispassionately immune to the triggers of the changing seasons? It didn’t. Mine certainly didn’t. It does not operate beyond nature. And I have no reason or desire to pretend that I do. There is some philosophical credibility in the notion that human consciousness exceeds the sum of its physical parts, but one of those quantitative parts just happens to be the suprachiasmatic nucleus which has a direct line to the retina. Consciousness has no object without reference to and through the senses. And sensory processing precedes cognitive styling.
So yes, I start getting a little giddy in March! The rain clouds become back-lit and less heavy, rippling like silver oases in silken dunes, ripe to quench the thirst of the first Spring bulbs. The signature tempo of the fall and rise, rise and fall of the sero-melatonin waltz quickens in anticipation of the pushing forward of the minute hand, full-circle, before the month is out…
∫ 1, 2, 3····· 1, 2, 3···· 1, 2, 3··· 1, 2, 3·· 1,2, 3· 1, 2, 3.
If I had a singing voice – if I had a singing voice – I would roll back my shoulders and sing this to the sky:
In a tragicomic turn of events, “Me and my girlfriend,” inevitably turn out to be Sergio and Jane; their innocent expectations of first love choking on the scrumpy-dregs of a late Harvest moon hangover. The snaps grow colder, the nights draw in and you already know that retracing your circular trail will never lead you back to the things you’ve lost.
So you break into the little boathouse, one last time, and float the gamekeeper’s dingy out to the deepest part of the lake, silently, caring only for the stars, as the black water laps at the embers of bridges already burnt. You tether it safely to the far fishing post and go home.
You chalk on your tally chart of experience and move on. The Earth’s spin will lean again and again towards the Spring equinox, propelling the cyclic surge of mental vigour, and on a bright, warm day you’ll find yourself happy again, singing up at the sky.
Fell into a sea of grass
And disappeared among the shady blades,
The children all ran over me
Screaming, “Tag – you are the one.”
He trips her as her sandals fail
She says, “Stop! I’m a girl,
Whose fingernails are made of Mother’s pearl.”
Yellow buttercup, helicopters
Orange buttercat chasing after
The crazy bee mad about somebody,
Me and my girlfriend don’t wear no shoes
Her nose is painted pepper sunlight
She loves me, I mean it’s serious
As serious can be. Well –
She sings a song and I listen to what it says
And if you want a friend then feed any animal,
There was so much space that
I cut me a piece with some fine wine,
It brought peace to my mind in the Summertime
And it rolls…
Me and my girlfriend don’t wear no clothes, you know,
Her nose is pepper sunlight
I love her, I mean it’s so, so serious
As serious can be.